5.1(b) Chicken nuggets: thinking about evaluation and evidence


To identify the skills needed to do evaluation and gain evidence

You need

Activity sheets 34 and 35, at least two willing volunteers, a clipboard and perhaps some dressing up gear such as silly glasses or a funny hat and about an hour and a quarter.

What to do

a) The two volunteers agree roles and look over the script. I = interviewer; R = respondent. Make sure all the words make sense to you. If they don’t, check them out and change them before you start. There is nothing worse than getting stuck half way through. You can have some fun adding your own words in as well and you can always add in other characters. Perhaps keep it simple the first time though. Now act it out. Put some energy into it.

Chicken nuggets (Activity sheet 34)

I: May I ask you a few questions?

R: What about?

I: We are trying to evaluate our promotion of a certain product in the supermarket; it is just some questions about the promotion.

R: Okay.

I: Have you noticed the recent fantastic advertising campaign for chicken nuggets?

R: I can’t say that I have.

I: How many times a month do you buy chicken nuggets? Three times, five times, ten times or more?

R: Never.

I: What influences you to buy chicken nuggets? Is it A – cost, B – advertising, C – where they are placed in the freezer cabinet?

R: None of these things. Look, all my family are vegetarians and we never eat chicken so all this is irrelevant.

I: I don’t have a box to put that information in. And if I don’t finish the questionnaire, I don’t get paid, so would you mind finishing please?

b) Now turn the role-play into a game show. Someone needs to act as the host and keep the score – not that that matters desperately! Divide the whole group into two teams, each choosing a, preferably ridiculous, team noise. Every time one team thinks the evaluator has made a mistake (there are loads right from the start), interrupt with the team noise, say what it is and suggest improvements. A box of chocolates for the winning team goes down well (always shared amongst everybody of course).

What do you think?

The role-play above was developed by Jennie Fleming, who is herself an evaluator, after a real encounter with a market researcher. What do you think of the way the evaluator behaved? What do you think of the questions? How do you think the shopper felt when being questioned? How do you think the interviewer felt? What could help make this evaluation work better for both people? Record some of the main points from the group discussion on flipchart as this will help with the next activity.

What next?

After a short break, come back to look at how hard it can be to prove what we say or hear. How the evaluator listens and treats the person they are questioning is crucial. They also need to be good detectives and good at gathering evidence, or proof. Before you move on, have a go at seeing how good you are at uncovering the truth.

a) Remember the very first activity back at the start of Act by Right where you checked out how well you knew each other by giving three ‘facts’ about each other, one being a lie? This activity takes the same idea but develops it further. Each person in the group makes a blank copy of the grid below, or use activity sheet 35. As before, take a few minutes to think of three facts about you and put these in the left hand column. These should probably be different to those in activity 1.1(a) My Passport. One of these ‘facts ‘ needs to be a lie. What you now need to do as well is think about how you would try and prove these three ‘facts’? Add in the boxes what evidence you might use. This can be visual, verbal or written, as explored in Unit 2: Getting to know the community. Here is an example.

Prove it!
My name is: Evidence
Three things about myself Visual Verbal Written
I drive trucks Photos Information from my family and friends Driving licence
I have epilepsy Medicines Information from my family and friends Medical form
I’m a good cook Photo Information from my family and friends Certificate

b) Now introduce yourselves in turn to the group and give your three ‘facts’ and what proof you would use to support each one. Which is the lie? Take a spot vote. Tell the group which was the lie. Did they get it right? What ‘proof’ did the group find most compelling? What ‘proof’ did they see through?

c) As you are going round the group, some interesting insights will crop up about gathering evidence and working out whether something is true or not. Agree a scribe in the group to keep a note of these and add them to your list you started after the chicken nuggets sketch.

Here are some points from a group of Connexions evaluators in the West Midlands. And some of this group didn’t play by the rules at all, telling either three lies or no lies at all. Another lesson to learn!

Prove it! Guidelines for evaluators

  • Don’t always believe what we are told or what we see
  • It is best to get proof from more than one source and of different types
  • There is often more than one sort of truth
  • Relationships can affect the gathering of evidence
  • Don’t be afraid to challenge the evidence provided
  • Don’t be afraid to accept the unbelievable
  • Be prepared to accept the unexpected
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some things aren’t what they seem.
  • Don’t just hear what we want to hear
  • Gathering evidence helps an evaluation be objective, not a biased personal view
  • Bothering to prove something can depend on the time, the money and the reason for doing so


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